Black Love: Season 2/ Episode 8 “Love that Lasts” [Season Finale] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card for Black Love Season 2/ Episode 8
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In, what I want to say is the official, season 2 finale, we go over what makes a marriage last. Which all boils down to a handful of things.


Network
OWN
Director(s)Codie Elaine Oliver
Air Date10/20/2018
Characters Introduced
HimselfBernard
HerselfShirley

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You Gotta Adapt To The Changes: Shaun, Rai, Tammy, Kirk

It’s straight up facts that people change with time. As Shaun and Rai discuss, the person you married in your 20s, 30s, beyond, isn’t the same person decade to decade. It’s like you married someone new throughout your life and you gotta learn to roll with that. After all, people change and things happen. Yet, as noted with Tammy and Kirk, you have to also recognize sometimes you have to keep some things from your past, be it attitude or something you liked to do.

Example: Shaun used to be gung-ho on planning trips but now he lets Rai handle that. For Tammy and Kirk, while a noted Christian, Kirk is also a married man who met his wife when she was in a bikini. He likes seeing her show a little ankle, a little neck, a little leg. Thing is, even back in the day, that wasn’t Tammy’s thing. It is what she wore that day but she isn’t the type to just wear that, wedges, and a lot of what Kirk likes on the regular.

So, when it comes to change, you got to roll with it in a few ways. The first being that your partner is going to change throughout their life and you have to learn to adapt. Secondly, there is recognizing something you may have to change about yourself because, one or two things you did just to attract this person, you’re going to have to keep it up and make it part of your routine. Lastly, and this is something Tammy and Kirk push, you gotta check in.

What I mean by that is, as Kirk notes, it is easy to allow your work to become your mistress and you end up forgetting about your wife and husband. So, you have to make sure in the pursuit of bettering yourself professionally, if your significant other isn’t working in the same business, don’t leave them behind. Otherwise, you’ll end up that proverbial couple who may sit and have dinner together but what was once conversation and laughter is just the light of cell phones and plates being scraped.

Commentary

I really do believe the forever mentioned Viola Davis quote says it best. To paraphrase, you have to be prepped to go grow old with someone. You have to be ready and willing, if you are going to marry someone, to deal with the fact the person you marry and the person you potentially are with until you or they die, won’t be the same person. Physically, people change. Mentally and emotionally they change as children are born, parents die, that whole rich, poor, sickness and health thing kicks in, and then just random situations.

You truly have to be committed to this person and sometimes realize, what you think is the core, that itself can change too. Which then leaves you to decide, did I love so and so as they were or love them as a whole? A difficult choice to make especially if they ever veer beyond your expectations and where you saw yourself going.

Don’t Forget The Foundation: Bernard, Shirley, Tony, Brittany, Rev Run, Justine, Sterling, Ryan

Hence why friendship is so important. In fact, it is a driving point behind Tony and Brittany’s relationship. For one thing mentioned, earlier this season I believe, is how secrets, such as infidelity, affect a relationship. Now, let’s take note Tony is a nice looking dude, clearly works out, and he had some temptation when away from Brittany. This could have led to festering feelings which could have made him vulnerable enough to cheat. I’m not saying he would, but eyes wander and the human mind is a precarious thing.

However, because they have the foundation of friendship, he and Brittany were able to talk about it, pray through it, and nothing happened. As for how she was able to deal with her man, who it took some time to find and lockdown, because of timing, talking about other women? Alongside friendship, it was also putting her ego aside.

Something which is another thing brought up repeatedly for there is also the need to establish leaving or divorce isn’t on the table. For, as Justine says, you just putting it out there begins the process. If one person leaves, it presents the idea that person is capable of doing so and now it feels like a threat. Which, of course, flares up the ego and emotions.

But, it is noted, you have to learn to still give a person space. It is just, don’t let that space become a chasm. As noted between Sterling and Ryan, as well as Rev Run and Justine, there is a need to let someone talk and finish their thought. Sometimes walk away if you have to. But, as Ryan notes, don’t let that conversation fester for days, weeks, months, and then you have that problem defining the relationship.

Though, perhaps the biggest advice that needs to be taken is keeping your friends and family out of your business. Bernard and Shirley push this and it correlates so well with what Justine says. For you putting out there how much your man ain’t s*** or your lady is trifling, you may get over it, but your friends and family don’t. So they are always ready to bring that stuff up when things aren’t right and will, relaying to what Justine said, be ready to remind you leaving is an option. They’ll be ready to push the idea that what is an annoyance is a fatal flaw, and push you to believe you are better off alone.

Commentary

Brittany explaining how she dealt with Tony talking about his temptations.
Brittany: I didn’t make it about me.

What this whole topic boils down to is remembering the basis of any relationship is friendship. You should be able to talk to your friend in confidence, be capable of vulnerability, talking about your fears, even making mistakes, without it becoming general knowledge. For once you put something out there with family, friends, or social media, it can’t be taken back. Whatever your partner did becomes their story and who they are. After all, only you see the day to day growth, the heartfelt apology, and all that. What everyone else sees is someone who has learned public relations and now knows, if they mess up, more than just their partner will hold them accountable for it.

And with keeping things in-house, bringing in a counselor if necessary, that helps keep the idea of leaving at bay. For, as noted between Ryan and Sterling, there are times you’re going to want to leave. As charming as Sterling in, you can see how he would get on Ryan’s nerves. In the first half of the season, when he was talking about how they got together, you could see the eye rolling and her being exasperated. So imagine when they have something to fight about.

Yet, as she notes, alongside Sterling, you can’t let those letting things define a relationship. When someone fails at marriage, you can’t allow it to just fester. Jumping back to something Rai said, you have to deepen that commitment, that almost teenage attachment and infatuation with that person. Not to the point of being blind to their faults, but being willing to be patient and also help them through the times they aren’t at their best for not just you, but themselves.

For, ultimately, a successful “us” cannot exist unless each person is committed to an “us” working.

Your Goals Need To Be Aligned: Devale, Khadeen, Bernard, Shirley, Codie, Tommy

Building something together allows for an “us.” As Devale and Khadeen said in a past episode, having things you do, build, businesses you run together, it makes even thinking about an out difficult. Not just because of the whole, “Cheaper to keep them” mentality or, in the case of representation, your failure feeling like a cultural one. It’s because this person has invested in your goal and dreams, and you in theirs. Thus encompassing them nearly being your everything. They are your friend, business partner, lover, parent to your kids, and it makes the idea of splitting one of those things apart seem like it would destroy it all.

Yet, as much as it may seem scary, investing in something with someone, that is what marriage and relationships are about. Taking that step where you officially say your BS is my BS and not just over the phone but in life. Plus, who better than your spouse to be the person who makes sure whenever you leap, you make the shot. Also, when you don’t, they can advise you what you need to do to make it.

Sports analogy aside, what these couples present, including Codie and Tommy, makers of Black Love is that sometimes your greatness requires a partner who is in it for more than the money. I mean, just think about this show. Nearly every famous Black couple you can think of, sans Will and Jada, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, also Denzel and his wife, were on between this and last season. Do you think Tommy, who seemingly was a driving force behind this, since he didn’t have a lot of examples of Black Love, could do this on his own? No. Thanks to Codie, who not only directs but interviews, among many other tasks, that is how we got this show.

Also, that is why we’re getting more episodes in 2019.

Commentary

Tommy noting why showing Black Love is so important to him.
Tommy: We need to see that. I need to see that.

To be honest, I’m kind of unsure what there is left to cover for a possible season 3. I still would like one, but am unsure what topics are left to discuss? A pride episode would be awesome, since the show does have a queer presence, but only enough to keep from being fully called out. Also, the show could go international and show what Black Love means around the world. After all, this is a production on OWN. They could have the budget to take this show across the Pacific or Atlantic. Maybe down into the Caribbean or South America.

Also, they could create a forum where multiple couples are talking at once about their relationships. Making it seem, they really could expand in so many ways. But, at the end of the day, it’ll all depend on the core example of Black Love, Tommy and Codie, deciding what is the best move.

Highlights

  1. Brittany and Tony presenting friendship as such a key to any relationship, marriage even. Once again standing out for while the topic of while communication is mentioned, as well as putting ego aside, presenting the idea of even helping your spouse through temptation is a whole other thing.
  2. Bernard and Shirley noting that keeping other people’s knowledge of your relationship to a nil being important.
  3. Getting Tommy and Codie’s story, complimenting Devale’s need for seeing Black love, was important.

  1. Rai and Shaun taking note of how a person will change over the course of a marriage to the point It’ll feel like you’ve been married to multiple people over the years.
  2. Sterling and Ryan talking about not letting an argument or issue define the relationship.
  3. Tammy and Kirk, as well as Bernard and Shirley, alongside Devale and Khadeen, showing you how to truly have it all. That is, both a healthy and fruitful relationship, as well as career. Alongside Tammy and Kirk acting as an example of what could happen when your spouse doesn’t have a career which compliments yours.
  4. The scrapbook at the end of the episode was cute.

 


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